PiAf Fellows

Audrey Atencio 2014-2015 Fellow with UN World Food Programme, Uganda Georgetown University Class of 2014

Audrey majored in International Politics with a Certificate in International Development at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. While in school, she interned at the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan at the U.S. Department of State, TechnoServe, the Grameen Foundation, the Center for Global Development, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Audrey brought her interest in development and international affairs back to campus through her extracurricular activities. She worked with the Social Innovation Public Service Fund to allocate $50,000 annually to fund innovative service and research projects. She also worked with the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative’s Client Recruitment and Development teams to find new clients and donors to grow the small microfinance institution. In past years, she managed fundraising efforts to raise $24,000 for ‘charity: water’ and helped plan four major conferences with the Georgetown International Relations Club. While working with WFP in Uganda, Audrey hopes to explore East Africa and learn more about food security and humanitarian response operations.

Anu Atre 2014-2015 Fellow with International Rescue Committee, Ethiopia Colorado College Class of 2013

Anu is from San Luis Obispo, California and graduated from Colorado College in 2013 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Nonviolence. Anu’s primary interests lie in refugee affairs and post-conflict reconciliation. While at Colorado College, she conducted a senior thesis on migrant receptivity in small-town America through a case study of a rural Colorado town experiencing a rapid influx of East African refugees. Anu spent a semester studying post-genocide restoration and peacebuilding in Rwanda and Uganda. While in Rwanda, she carried out an independent study on the relationship between community-based conservation and empowerment in the villages surrounding Volcanoes National Park. She has interned at the National Geographic Society and the African Community Center, a refugee resettlement nonprofit in Denver. Anu currently works at OMNI Institute, a social research nonprofit evaluating grant-funded programs surrounding juvenile justice and behavioral health. While in Ethiopia, Anu is excited to learn some Amharic, participate in Ethiopian traditions, and explore the Bale Mountains, the Simien Mountains, and the numerous surrounding national parks.

Jennifer Austin 2005-2006 Fellow with The New Vision, Uganda Princeton University Class of 2005

Alumni Update:

Jennifer is currently in her first year of the two-year Master’s Degree in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, studying development economics and policy. She is interested in climate change policy and economics, and currently hunting for an internship in that field for this summer.

After her fellowship in Liberia in 2006-2007, Jennifer stayed at the IRC for an additional 6 months as the Field Manager in the Lofa County Field office, where she managed logistics for IRC programs in the County. She moved home at the end of 2007 and joined President Obama’s presidential campaign as a volunteer and then full-time Field Organizer. Jennifer worked in the Communications Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC for two and a half years during President Obama’s first Administration and was the Press Secretary for the State of Pennsylvania for his re-election campaign in 2012. She spent the time between the 2012 campaign and starting school catching up with family and friends and travelling to a few new countries!

Jennifer Austin 2006-2007 Fellow with International Rescue Committee, Liberia Princeton University Class of 2005

Alumni Update:

Jennifer is currently in her first year of the two-year Master’s Degree in Public Administration in International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, studying development economics and policy. She is interested in climate change policy and economics, and currently hunting for an internship in that field for this summer.

After her fellowship in Liberia in 2006-2007, Jennifer stayed at the IRC for an additional 6 months as the Field Manager in the Lofa County Field office, where she managed logistics for IRC programs in the County. She moved home at the end of 2007 and joined President Obama’s presidential campaign as a volunteer and then full-time Field Organizer. Jennifer worked in the Communications Office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC for two and a half years during President Obama’s first Administration and was the Press Secretary for the State of Pennsylvania for his re-election campaign in 2012. She spent the time between the 2012 campaign and starting school catching up with family and friends and travelling to a few new countries!

Byron Austin 2009-2010 Fellow with mothers2mothers, South Africa Princeton University Class of 2007

Alumni Update:

After his fellowship, Byron stayed on with mothers2mothers for another two years. He moved back from Cape Town to New York City, where he got married and started at Rabin Martin, a global health strategy consulting firm. After about a year and a half at the firm, he transitioned onto the Corporate Contributions team at Johnson & Johnson. Funnily enough, in this new role, he manages a mothers2mothers grant and work with Rabin Martin on communications strategies for portfolios. Full circle!

Fellow Bio:

Byron is a comparative literature major from Morris Plains, NJ. After graduation, he had a short stint at a notable fashion magazine, yet spent more than 1.5 years at Bloomberg Finance, LP where he managed a small team in the client services department. Through Princeton, Byron was able to study abroad in Spain and Argentina in addition to volunteer for Child Family Health International in Oaxaca, Mexico. While in Cape Town for his fellowship, Byron looks forward to working at a NGO and tackling many issues that were addressed in his senior thesis in the real world!

Anna Bachan 2017-2018 Fellow with African School of Economics, Benin New York University Class of 2017

Anna graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Global Liberal Studies (concentrating on Politics, Rights, and Development) and double minoring in French, and Public Policy and Management. Anna has worked for several nonprofit organizations throughout her academic career, from Girl Rising, a documentary campaign to promote girl’s education, to Human Rights Foundation, an organization which supports political dissidents in countries with authoritarian governments. Her interest in development work in Africa was strengthened last summer, which she spent in Dakar, Senegal, interning and conducting research for her thesis on female migration and its’ impact on social and economic development. Anna returned to Senegal for a month last January to finish her research, and was awarded the best thesis overall in NYU’s Global Liberal Studies class of 2017. In her free time, Anna loves to read and hike, she is an avid backpacker, adventurer, and “Couchsurfer”. Lastly, she can’t wait for the fellowship to explore Benin, continue her research, make new friends and practice her French!

Desiree Bailey 2011-2012 Fellow with Equal Education, South Africa Georgetown University Class of 2011

Alumni Update:

After her fellowship at Equal Education, Desiree worked for Harlem Children’s Zone, received writing fellowships from The Norman Mailer Center and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and has been a recipient of the Poets and Writers’ Amy Award. She has also taught poetry workshops at Roger Williams University. She is currently in the MFA program at Brown University, where she writes and teaches undergraduate fiction courses. She is also the fiction editor at Kinfolks Quarterly, a journal that publishes art and creative/critical writing by black artists and writers. Some of her own writings are published or forthcoming in Muzzle, Blackberry, Learn then Burn anthology, Callaloo and Best American Poetry. 

Fellow Bio:

Desiree (Georgetown ‘11) is an English major and African Studies minor. She was born in Trinidad and Tobago and lives in Queens, NY. Desiree has a deep interest in education and was involved in the DC Public Schools System through programs such as DC Reads and DC Schools. She is also involved in the written and performing arts, performing original poetry on campus and around DC. Desiree pursued her love for education and the arts while studying abroad at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. She is excited to return for a year and hopes to deepen her knowledge of the nation’s history and culture.

Becca Balis 2010-2011 Fellow with International Rescue Committee, Liberia University of Pennsylvania Class of 2010

Alumni Update:

Becca is back in the U.S., at Georgetown Law, where she is focusing on Refugee and Humanitarian law (and missing the field every day). She’ll be here this summer at Human Rights Watch, and would love a PiAf get-together!

Fellow Bio:

Becca ’10 is an International Relations and History major at the University of Pennsylvania. Becca was editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Relations through Sigma Iota Rho, the national honors society for international studies and helped plan student-led consulting projects in the developing world through Penn International Business volunteers. Becca earned certificates in French language and African Studies. While at Penn, she studied abroad in Paris and worked in Ghana doing education and community development and research for the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. Becca is thrilled to learn about Liberia’s fascinating history, enjoy local beers and music, and gain some crazy West African tales next year.

Luisa Banchoff 2017-2018 Fellow with Maru-a-Pula, Botswana Princeton University Class of 2017

A native of Arlington, Virginia, Luisa graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with a B.A. in Religion. Her academic work focused on interreligious encounter; she conducted independent research on Christian-Muslim dialogue in Berlin, Germany, as well as the Syriac Orthodox community in contemporary Germany. Luisa has spent considerable time abroad for her studies and internships; she has lived, learned, and worked in St. Petersburg, Russia; Rome, Italy; and Berlin, Germany. While in Rome in summer 2015, Luisa worked with the Community of Sant’Egidio, an international peacemaking organization that serves Rome’s homeless, migrant, and refugee populations. Luisa was also part of the student coordinating team for the 2014 and 2017 Poverty and Peacemaking Conferences in partnership with Sant’Egidio and the Princeton Office of Religious Life. A lifelong Girl Scout, Luisa served on the board of directors of her council, serving over 80,000 members. Luisa enjoys cooking, hiking, and creative writing. She is looking forward to the many lessons that wait in store for her in Gaborone, Botswana, where she will be a history teacher at Maru-a-Pula.

Audrey Banks 2008-2009 Fellow with International Rescue Committee, Sierra Leone Princeton University Class of 2007

Fellow Bio:

Audrey Banks was a Princeton in Africa Fellow with the International Rescue Committee in Sierra Leone from 2008 – 2009. Following her fellowship, she went on to work with the IRC in Afghanistan, Jordan, Iraq, and South Sudan, where she focused on human rights protection and emergency response programming until 2015. She is now an “International Ninja” on the legal team at Palantir Technologies, a company that builds software platforms designed to enable organizations to analyze data at scale. At Palantir, Audrey’s work includes international expansion and corporate governance, privacy and civil liberties matters, and contracts related to Palantir’s philanthropic engagements with UN agencies and NGOs. Audrey holds a B.A. in History from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.